The school board for Vail, Arizona, canceled its scheduled meeting Tuesday night, April 27, and called 911 after a group of enraged parents protested over the mask mandate for their children.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) lifted the statewide mask requirement for schools last week, but several districts, including the Vail Unified School District (VUSD), immediately declared that they would keep their own mask mandates in place.
VUSD immediately announced that it intended to maintain its current COVID-19 (CCP Virus) mitigation activities at this time, adding tits board will discuss the matter. However, when the meeting date arrived, district officials decided to call it off just minutes before it was to begin, citing safety issues after parents and community members protested outside the district office, demanding that the mask mandate be lifted.
About 100 people opposed to the mask requirement for their children staged a demonstration outside the Vail Education Center, carrying protest signs and shouting, “Let our children breathe!”
According to KGUN-TV, the crowd flooded into the facility, where they were met by a sergeant and four deputies from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, who told them that the meeting had been cancelled due to safety concerns.
Emotions quite high.. Parents demanding answers from the sheriff’s deputy as to why the school board left. The deputy trying to explain the meeting is canceled for tonight. @KVOA pic.twitter.com/nutYVKkShM
— Eric Fink (@EricMillerFink) April 28, 2021
“They do not have the right to take this away from us! These are our kids!” said an angry woman. “We have bills in the Constitution in Arizona that give us parental rights — they are inalienable rights. They do not have the right to take them away, and yet this state, and this board, has taken it away from us. And they have the audacity to leave when we come here as peaceful parents and talk to them? It’s bull crap.”
In the absence of an elected board, the protesting parents organized their own “election” using parliamentary procedure, electing their own representatives to the school board.
Officials from the school district stated they were working on a letter to give to all parents as a reminder that the mask mandate is still in effect. In less than four weeks, the Vail school year will come to an end.